The Link Between Diabetes & Oral Health Issues

  • October 23, 2015
The Link Between Diabetes & Oral Health Issues

Studies are now showing a correlation between diabetes and oral health. According to the American Diabetes Association, those diagnosed with diabetes are at an increased risk for serious gum disease because they are more prone to bacterial infection and have a lessened ability to fight bacteria in the gums. Research is even finding that this is a two-way street. Because gum disease can affect blood glucose control, it can actually contribute to the eventual progression of diabetes.

Oral Health & Diabetes

Diabetes weakens your body’s ability to fight bacteria in your mouth, putting you at risk for oral infections like gum disease. Now that research has found a correlation between the two, it is important to not only regulate your blood glucose levels, but to maintain oral hygiene as well. Below are some signs that you may be at risk for gum disease:

  • Gums that appear red, sore, bleeding, swollen or pull away from the teeth
  • Losing teeth
  • Chronic bad breath
  • Irregular Bite

Seeing your dentist regularly can help you maintain oral hygiene and prevent gum disease, tooth loss, dry mouth and fungal infections such as thrush. You can also prevent fungal infections by maintaining good diabetic control, avoiding smoking, and removing and cleaning dentures. Doctors recommend making an appointment with your dentist every 6 months. Make sure to ask what they recommend to maintain the best oral health between appointments - particularly how to battle plaque. Plaque is a sticky remnant of saliva, food and bacteria that is harmful to your teeth and can actually cause inflammation and lead to gum disease.

blog image

Maintaining a Happy & Healthy Smile

Listed below are helpful tips on how to maintain healthy oral hygiene:

Brush every day, the right way: Not only is it important to brush your teeth at least twice a day, but you need to brush them properly as well. Brushing your teeth not only improves breath, but it cleans the mouth of the bacteria that helps produce plaque and other oral infections. Try to brush your teeth gently at a 45 degree angle against your gums. Brush each section (front, back, and on) for two minutes and don’t forget your gums and tongue!

Floss daily: One of the commandments on achieving oral health is flossing every day. Flossing is able to get to places a toothbrush cannot and ultimately controls plaque. Make sure to ask your dentist for tips on how to floss if you are unsure of the method.

Maintain your dentures: If you have dentures, it is essential to maintain your dentures. Remove and clean your dentures daily to help reduce gum irritation, sores and even infections. Make sure to let your dentist know if there are any changes in the fit of your dentures.

Stop using tobacco: Cigarettes, cigars, pipes and other tobacco products are discouraged for everyone. But if you have diabetes, these products can be even more harmful as they put you at risk for gum disease. Tobacco not only damages gum tissue, but it can also cause receding gums, bone and tissue loss, and even loss of teeth.

Keeping your mouth healthy can positively affect the rest of your body, especially those diagnosed with diabetes. Try your best to eat healthy, avoid tobacco products, keep up with any medications and see your dentist regularly.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Medical Guardian is a leading provider of innovative medical alert systems that empower people to live a life without limits.

KEYWORDS: diabetes, oral health, gum disease, hygiene

Related Posts

Jul 14, 2023

Can Physical Therapy Prevent Senior Falls?

With more than one in four adults over 65 suffering a fall each year, falls are the leading…

Jul 14, 2023

Early Signs of Parkinson's and What to Do About It

If you suspect you or a loved one might have symptoms of Parkinson's disease (PD), learn the next…

Jun 30, 2023

Are You at Risk for Osteoporosis? Don't Wait Until It's Too Late!

As we age, our bones become more brittle and susceptible to fractures, and for some, this can lead…

Jun 30, 2023

Eat Your Way to Strong and Healthy Bones: The Power of Nutrition for Bone Health

Did you know that what you eat can significantly impact your bone health?   Our bones become more fragile as…

New to Medical Alert Devices?

Request a Buyer’s Guide.

Get My FREE Buyer’s Guide

By submitting my information, Medical Guardian and its accredited members are authorized to communicate with me regarding options, including by pre-recorded messages and texts. I agree to Medical Guardian Terms of Use & Privacy Policy, including the use of an electronic record to document my agreement.